X FACTOR star Anthony Russell has broken his silence after being caught with “cocaine” by show bosses and booted from the tour last month.
The 29-year-old singer has claimed that he is “dealing with his issues” and that he is now “better than ever”.
In a video that was posted to his Instagram account earlier today, Anthony said: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for the love and support you have been giving me these last couple of months.
“It’s been really hard and I am dealing with my issues.
“I’d like to thank everyone for respecting my privacy.”
The TV star went on to tease new music, adding: “Moving forward, I feel I am better than ever, I feel great, and I have a lot of music coming out.
“Big things are coming.
“Thank you so much for the love and support, I couldn’t have done it without you.
“I am looking forward to moving forward and smashing the life out of it, thank you very much for coming with me on this journey.”
He captioned the post: “Thank you all for your patience, it’s been a tough few months and I thank you all for respecting my privacy!
“I’m back and I’m feeling better than ever! Big things coming, thank you all again for your constant support of me and backing me, I’d be nothing without it!
“I promise you I’ll always get back up and come back fighting!! Let’s move forward.”
Earlier this month, The Sun Online exclusively revealed that tour staff found suspicious plastic bags filled with white powder in Anthony’s hotel room.
A show source told us at the time: “We found suspicious plastic bags with a white powder in them.
“We think it was cocaine and we obviously couldn’t keep him on the tour.”
The revelation came after we revealed that the singer had been kicked off the tour – agreeing to leave just hours before he was due on stage.
An insider told us: “He’s off the tour completely and he won’t be coming back.
“All the other performers are gutted because Anthony is a lovely bloke.
“But he’s got these demons he can’t control at the moment.”
The Liverpudlian hopeful was mentored by Louis Tomlinson in the ITV singing competition and finished third in the show overall.
This was the second time that Anthony had been involved in a drug scandal on The X Factor, previously being removed during the bootcamp phase of the 2017 series after he admitted to taking drugs.
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Although he wasn’t an X Factor judge at the time, One Direction singer Louis heard about Anthony’s addiction and reached out to him to help him get clean.
The 27-year-old star paid for the aspiring singer to go to rehab, and was left in tears when Anthony returned to audition for show last year.
Throughout the series, Anthony heaped praise on his mentor – repeatedly thanking him for helping him the year before.
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